Tipping elements of the Indian monsoon: Prediction of onset and withdrawal

Veronika Stolbova*, Elena Surovyatkina, Bodo Bookhagen, Juergen Kurths

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Forecasting the onset and withdrawal of the Indian summer monsoon is crucial for the life and prosperity of more than one billion inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent. However, accurate prediction of monsoon timing remains a challenge, despite numerous efforts. Here we present a method for prediction of monsoon timing based on a critical transition precursor. We identify geographic regions-tipping elements of the monsoon-and use them as observation locations for predicting onset and withdrawal dates. Unlike most predictability methods, our approach does not rely on precipitation analysis but on air temperature and relative humidity, which are well represented both in models and observations. The proposed method allows to predict onset 2 weeks earlier and withdrawal dates 1.5 months earlier than existing methods. In addition, it enables to correctly forecast monsoon duration for some anomalous years, often associated with El Nino-Southern Oscillation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3982-3990
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume43
Issue number8
Early online date20 Apr 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • SOUTH-ASIAN MONSOON
  • SUMMER MONSOON
  • VARIABILITY
  • TRANSITIONS
  • REANALYSIS
  • DEFINITION
  • EVOLUTION

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